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Yorick



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wait, what's wrong with Freakonomics?
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Yorick



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vox Raucus wrote:
What are the best non-fiction books you've read?

I get five months of (paid) parental leave starting the end of January, and one of the things I'm planning to do is read more seriously. I already read a fair amount of fiction, and I like to learn and stuff, so I figured I would focus on the non-fiction.

EDIT - I'm asking in this thread because I'm too lazy to comb through the book thread.

Unbroken by Laura Hilenbrand
story of an Olympic runner who, in WWII, survived a crashed plane only to be sent to one of Japan's horrific prison camps
srsly, you think US internment of Japanese was a terrible thing, you've no idea what the Japanese were doing to their prisoners
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yorick wrote:
wait, what's wrong with Freakonomics?

Most of the criticism seems to be that they started out well but then got too ambitious, without the work or the data to support their arguments. Krugman called it a "counterintuitive train wreck," regarding the desire to "upset the bourgeois" by making claims that seem nonsensical and then explaining why they work, which is a good way to sell books, but lacks the statistical controls and rigor to claim what they claim. Noam Scheiber makes a similar argument when he says that clever studies can only take you so far, and it's easy to be misled if you're more concerned with the method than the result. Some questions simply aren't counterintuitive, and approaching them looking for counterintuitive answers is more likely to produce type I errors. John DiNardo (economics, University of Michigan) writes that the book is mostly "art" pretending at science, and, "Levittís scholarship and the scholarship of others are put in the service of telling a 'good story' rather than the other way around." Andrew Gelman (statistician at Columbia) describes his misgivings here. Steve Malanga (a writer for City Journal, WSJ, NYPost, etc) here.

Several of them (Scheiber, Gelman, DiNardo) also point out that the way he describes the research of others isn't always... totally in line with the conclusions reached by those researchers themselves. It's not flat-out lying, but sometimes subtle warping of conclusions to make material stick to Levitt and Dubner's own conclusions better. His most-celebrated argument, about the effects of abortion on crime, has been disputed by other researchers as being both flawed and easily verified (that is, Googling crime rates for specific years would have shown Levitt that the first cohort after abortion was legalized had higher crime rates than the last cohort before it was legalized). Others have shown that crime rates dropped significantly across demographics, not just youth crime (Malanga covers this). Our man Malcolm Gladwell notes that the introduction of the contraceptive pill roughly 18 years prior, and which caused a much larger reduction in births, had no such effect on crime rates.
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Canopus



Joined: 13 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tl;dr Freakonomics is better at showing examples than making arguments.
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DeD CHiKn



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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Location: Baltimore, Maryla*gunshot*

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dennis J. Squidbunny wrote:
recently watched the first season of Homicide the TV show and really enjoyed it.

David Simon is just really fucking good.


Homicide was awesome.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

homicide was great! you've probably got some silly hangup about comparing it with real baltimore cops.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, anyone here good with 3d designs and art, specifically scenery, clothing & prop design, and hair textures with physics? It can be in Blender, or Daz, Renderosity, or maya, as long as it's either .obj files or .FBX. I know there's a few artistic folks here, a class mate of mine is looking for people to help her produce a trailer which she can shop around to studios. Pm me and I'll give you her contact info.
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trustedfaith



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: My own little world...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why are insurance companies so effin' stupid?

One primary care physician, one psychologist, and two psychiatrists have diagnosed me with A.D.D. and they still want me and my doctor to jump through hoops to prescribe me Adderall. Is this shit made from liquid diamonds? Wtf...

Yeah yeah I know, it's regulated. Regulated in a stupid fucking way.... *grumble grumble* Evil or Very Mad
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 10277
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trustedfaith wrote:
Why are insurance companies so effin' stupid?

One primary care physician, one psychologist, and two psychiatrists have diagnosed me with A.D.D. and they still want me and my doctor to jump through hoops to prescribe me Adderall. Is this shit made from liquid diamonds? Wtf...

Yeah yeah I know, it's regulated. Regulated in a stupid fucking way.... *grumble grumble* Evil or Very Mad


What's wrong with you? Weren't you paying attention . . . oh wait, n/m Wink
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DeD CHiKn



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 10223
Location: Baltimore, Maryla*gunshot*

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
homicide was great! you've probably got some silly hangup about comparing it with real baltimore cops.


I was introduced to homicide late in it's life, the sniper episodes at the end of season 4 (maybe 5) were the first I saw, but back logging as best I could at the time turned out a very awesome show.

I drink across the street from the set quite frequently.
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Martian Kyo



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved the characters on that show.

The whole dynamic between Munch and Frank was amazing, I remember it that way at least. I refuse to watch the show again, I like the memories of it.
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DeD CHiKn



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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Location: Baltimore, Maryla*gunshot*

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard Belzer is the man.

Yaphet Kotto was always a fun character too, by fun I don't mean he was always in a good mood, just good at what he did.
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Celaeno



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 3029
Location: Kzoo

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vox Raucus wrote:
What are the best non-fiction books you've read?

I get five months of (paid) parental leave starting the end of January, and one of the things I'm planning to do is read more seriously. I already read a fair amount of fiction, and I like to learn and stuff, so I figured I would focus on the non-fiction.

EDIT - I'm asking in this thread because I'm too lazy to comb through the book thread.


My favorites:
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Steve Jobs (did the audiobook)

Also high on the list:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Professor and the Madman
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in the Jazz Age
The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10655
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celaeno wrote:
My favorites:
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Steve Jobs (did the audiobook)

Also high on the list:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Professor and the Madman
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in the Jazz Age

The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

All of these are great. I just picked up "The Professor and the Madman," and I'm tearing through it quick. I've raved about "Stiff" before here, and anyone who likes science, medicine or social justice should read about Henrietta Lacks. It's just a great book. It was recommended to me by an old professor/neuroscientist, and I've since passed it on to a half dozen people at work. This is an excellent list.
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Last edited by Dogen on Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 12116
Location: Unknown Kaddath

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read the book, but I've known about Henrietta Lacks and her (in)famous HeLa cells for years. Utterly fascinating phenomenon by itself, but I only know bits and pieces of the social context. All my library's copies (including the audio book!) have been in perpetual Checked Out state for a while, so I might have to wait to read it.
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